Sunday, December 2, 2012

Final Blog Entry

The “From Grimm to Disney” class has taught me a lot and given me a better feel for what it’s like to be in college. In this class, I have learned about typical symbols and characteristics seen in fairytales by the Brothers Grimm, background knowledge of the Brothers Grimm, the similarities and differences between the Grimm fairytales and Disney movies, and analyzed the fairytales with different lenses. Now when I watch movies and read stories, I will be able to compare them to the fairytale symbols and motifs and understand them on a deeper level. Also, I now have a better understanding of what it’s like to write a college paper, what a typical college class would be like, and how to work in groups on a college level. Before college, the longest paper I had ever written was about three pages, but now I am able to write papers up to ten pages. When writing papers, I am now able to find and use resources much more easily. I have found that college classes are a lot more different than classes in high school. There definitely isn’t as much hand holding and grades given and the difficulty level is higher as well. In high school, I didn’t get many opportunities to work in groups, and when I did, they were usually small projects. I’ve found that working on big projects in groups is a lot more difficult than I expected and I now know how to handle problems when they arise. Lastly, I learned about how easy and beneficial it is to communicate with my professors. They are a huge help and really go out of their way to provide any necessary assistance that I need. This class has been a crucial part of my college experience and has given me knowledge that I can now use outside of the classroom.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blog Entry 10

            This cartoon about Rapunzel meeting her prince is a much more realistic point of view than both the story by the Brothers Grimm and the Disney movie. In the movie and story, Rapunzel is easily able to lift the prince up with her hair, while in the cartoon, Rapunzel mentions how it would physically be impossible for the prince to climb up her hair. Although in the story, Rapunzel mentions how the prince was more easily able to climb up her hair than the witch by saying that the witch was much heavier than the prince. Also, all three versions are different because in the cartoon, Rapunzel cuts off her own hair, in the movie, the prince cuts off Rapunzel’s hair, and in the story, the witch cuts of Rapunzel’s hair. Even though the comic doesn’t discuss it, it is presumed that the prince and Rapunzel will never be able to get together and live happily ever after since there is no way for the prince to get up to the tower and rescue her. Both in the movie and the story, Rapunzel and the prince were able to get married and live happily ever after. Though all three versions have the same idea in mind, a girl with long hair waiting for her prince, the actual events and the assumed outcomes that happen in the comic are completely different than the events and outcomes in the movie and story.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Blog Entry 9

There are two stories, “The Robber Bridegroom” and “Fitcher’s Bird” that are somewhat similar to the story “Bluebeard.” Each story deals with a girl who has an arranged marriage with an unattractive guy. Eventually curiosity got the best of the girl and she ventured into a place where she would find death and destruction. In “Fitcher’s Bird” and “Bluebeard,” this place was a room that their husbands had forbidden them to go in, but when their husbands were away, they went in them anyway. In the rooms, they found dead bodies and then were caught by their husbands and destined to die. However, the girls were able to save their lives by buying themselves time.

Other than the basic plot, “The Robber Bridegroom” is much different than the other two stories. In this story, the girl never actually gets married to her arranged husband-to-be. She visits his house where she hides in the basement and watches him and his friends kill an innocent girl, where as in the other two stories, the girls never see women being killed, they only see their dead bodies. In “Fitcher’s Bird,” when the girl opened the door to the forbidden chamber with the key, she also had an egg which she dropped. The egg was permanently stained with the blood from the chambers floors and that’s how the arranged husband discovered she had betrayed him. Similarly, the girl from “Bluebeard” had permanently stained the key.

These three stories are unique because, unlike the stories we have been reading, there is no prince charming, instead there are ugly old men that the girls are forced to be with at the beginning of the story. In the end, the men try to kill the girls, but the girls are cunning enough to save themselves and instead kill the men.

I liked “The Robber Bridegroom” the most because at the end, the girl shows her whole family what a horrible person the man is by telling the story of how she found out and even showing the finger for proof. Since they were surrounded by her whole family, the man had nowhere to run and was killed by her family members. She was very smart and witty to wait all that time to expose the man of the kind of person he really was.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blog Entry 8

The two stories of The Frog King and Cupid and Psyche have many more differences than similarities. One of the few similarities between them are that the main girls in the stories are the most beautiful of all the three daughters from each family. Also, when the girls discover their destinies to marry ugly men, they were not looking to find companions, though the men that wanted to be with the two girls were desired their companionship. In both stories, the parents really push the relationship on the girls as well. In the end, the two girls discover that the men they thought they did not want to be with were actually attractive and the girls eventually fell in love with the men.
Most of the plots for each were different from each other. First of all, the Cupid story dealt with Greek Gods and Goddesses and the Frog story only dealt with a magical frog. Secondly, the girl’s family from the Cupid story thought the girl should kill her destined companion, while the girls family from the Frog story pushed her to stay in the relationship because she made a promise. Also in the Cupid story, the girl accepted her fate to marry someone who is ugly, but in the Frog story, the girl tried to avoid being with the frog as much as possible. The girl from the Cupid story believed that her destined companion was ugly because she was told by him to never look at his face, while the girl from the Frog story knew that he was ugly because he was in frog form when she met him.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Little Red Riding Hood Cartoon

The cartoon I chose is a social cartoon. I chose it because I thought it was funny how Little Red Riding Hood is portrayed as the bad guy and it relates the classic tale to what might occur in modern day events. The roles have now been reversed and the wolf is the innocent victim and Little Red Riding Hood is the evil villain. In this day and age, people assume others are suspicious when they wear things that can hide their face and they act like they have something to hide. Coincidentally, Red Riding Hood wore a red hood that might have partially covered her face and she carried a basket that might have had more than just cake and wine. If you think about it, it is does seem a little suspicious how a hooded girl was walking through a dark forest by herself.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blog Entry 5

            Both the Disney and Grimm versions of Snow White were similar in many ways. Each was about a beautiful young girl who was taken into the forest by a huntsman after he was told to do so by the evil queen. The evil queen had wanted her dead because the mirror said that Snow White was more beautiful than the evil queen. The huntsman felt so bad for Snow White that he let her run away into the forest where there she found the house where the seven dwarves lived. The seven dwarves came home after a day of work to find Snow White sleeping on their beds. When she awoke, the seven dwarves and Snow White made a deal that she could stay and live with them as long as she kept house for them. When the evil queen found out Snow White was still alive, she disguised herself as an old lady and came to give Snow White a poisonous apple. Snow White took a bite of the apple and fell down dead immediately. The dwarves put her in a glass coffin and one day a prince came to see snow white. She later awoke and the prince and her rode off on a horse to live happily ever after.
            There are several differences though, and the reason Walt Disney decided to make them was probably because he wanted to make the story have more of a flow and make it sound more romantic. The first difference was that in the Disney version, Snow White met the prince at the beginning before the queen had sent her off to be killed, while in the Grimm version, she did not meet the prince until she was awoken later in the story. Another difference was that in the Grimm tale, the evil queen came to sell things to and kill Snow White twice before she came with the apple. In the Disney version, the evil queen only came that one time. Lastly, a huge difference between the two tales is that in the Disney version, Snow White was awoken from the poisonous apple spell by true loves kiss, but in the Grimm version, she was only awoken until the piece of apple was dislodged from her throat. These two tales were similar in many ways but there were also several main differences as well.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Blog Entry 4

The fairytale Cinderella, both the Disney version and the Grimm version, was about a girl named Cinderella who had become a servant for her stepmother and stepsisters. At one point there was a ball because the prince needed to find someone to marry, so when Cinderella’s stepfamily wouldn’t let her attend the ball, she magically transformed into a beautiful maiden and went to the ball. There, the prince decided that Cinderella was his soul mate though he wasn’t able to figure out her true identity until the slipper that Cinderella had left behind had been placed back on her foot. And there, Cinderella and the prince got married and lived happily ever after. But is this realistic? Could this actually happen in real life? Of course not! A poor servant girl would never be able to clean up as well as Cinderella that instantly. Even if somehow she miraculously would, it is doubtful that a rich man would stop in his tracks and say I’m going to marry you. I find it impossible for someone to go “from rags to riches” just by first impression. If anything, the only way someone could come into a lot of money so fast would be if they won the lottery. Some may point out the movie Pretty Woman about a stripper who fell in love with her client after only several days of knowing each other. I believe it is possible that that could happen, but it is a slim chance. I find it so unlikely that a poor woman would be able to fall in love with a rich man so fast. The fairytale Cinderella gives children false hope about their futures, making them think that no matter what, men will love them as long as they are pretty.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Blog Entry 3

            The MGM movie and the Grimm story of Hansel and Gretel are actually very similar. They are about two poor kids, a boy and a girl, who are forced to go into the woods where they find a gingerbread house with an old woman who offers them lots of sweets. The old woman wanted to eat the children but eventually died in her own oven. There are some minor details that are also the same. In both, the parents are blood related and the moms are not step moms. Also, Hansel used a chicken bone to make the old women think that he was still skinny. At the end, the children had to cross a river to get back home, but they crossed it on foot instead of riding a duck. Though there are a lot of similarities, there are actually several things that are different in the story and movie as well.
            In the Grimm story, the mom was portrayed as this evil woman who just wanted to be rid of her children for selfish reasons, just so she would be able to feed herself. In the MGM movie, the mom was a very unpleasant person, but she only sent them out to the forest because she was frustrated with them, having no intentions of them possibly dying out there. When Hansel and Gretel were getting lost in the forest, the story had them find their way back using pebbles, but the movie had no mention of them using pebbles at all. In fact, the movie made it so that they were not even able to make it back home until they found their father at the end. Some of the occurrences were different in the movie from the book as well. In the movie, out in front of the gingerbread house were several giant gingerbread men. We later found out that those gingerbread men were actually other children that had gotten lost in the forest and cooked by the old women. Also after Gretel had gotten the old women in the oven, the house basically exploded and red foam started pouring out of it. Nothing of these sorts happened in the short story at all.
            The movie directors of the MGM version made these changes probably because they wanted to make the plot a little more dramatic. They most likely thought that their audience would much rather see a house exploding then just two children running away. Also, they probably didn’t want to make the mother seem as evil as she was in the story, so that’s why they didn’t have her take them to the forest and leave them there twice, and that’s why they never needed pebbles. I’m sure the movie directors also wanted to put their own twist on the story when they made it so that there were lots of children getting lost in the forest and no one knew the reason why. The changes they made were logical and still made their story flow well, though it wasn’t completely true to the Grimm story.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Blog Entry 2

            Fairytales have been told for longer than the term fairytale has even existed. They are often confused with the terms legend or myth, yet some aspects of fairytales are different than those of legends or myths. Fairytales are known for incorporating magic and fantasy, while myths and legends tend to focus more on the supernatural. Myths and legends are believed to be true though there is some skepticism from the audience. Fairytales are assumed to be fictional, and are told to better understand the moral instead of learning about different events and people. Fairytales also tend to be longer than myths and legends because they usually have more sequences of events and more of a plot.
            When I think of fairytales, I usually think with more specifics. Fairytales usually have royalty, princes, princesses, kings, and queens, who live in a castle somewhere far, far away. There is no time in these places and no other outside world; it’s as if they live in their own little bubble, to be untouched by anyone outside of their land. There’s usually an evil character, a witch, ogre, or monster, which causes problems that affect the main character, usually the princess. Eventually, there’s some sort of battle and in the end the good guy, the prince, always wins and comes to save his true love, the princess. I’m not saying this happens in all fairytales, but for the most part, this is usually the case for most.
            Fairytales have evolved over the centuries, yet they still keep their same elements and same purpose. They are for all age groups, young and old, and no matter which age group, everyone is able to learn something from each fairytale.

Friday, August 31, 2012

From Grimm to Disney was actually my first choice for a First Year Seminar. I have always loved Disney movies and all the Princesses. In my ninth grade English class, we had to read the Grimm version of The Little Mermaid and it was a bit… strange, but definitely interesting. It made me wonder how Disney could turn such a horrible story into some sort of fairy tale. Whenever I would play with Barbie dolls or any kind of dolls for that matter, when I was a little girl, I would always have the girl doll in some sort of distress where the boy doll would have to come in and save her. When I saw this FYS as an option I knew I wanted to take it! In this seminar I hope to get a better understanding of why the Grimm’s stories were so gruesome and the true morals that Disney changed for each story.
To be honest, my favorite fairy tale is a hard tie between Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, and The Little Mermaid. When I was little, I was Belle from Beauty and the Beast for Halloween for probably five years straight. I just love everything about Beauty and the Beast! Also, I love Pocahontas. I love the songs, and the characters, and event the fact that it is a true story. And then there’s The Little Mermaid; she’s a mermaid, you can’t get much better than that. You see, it’s impossible to choose a favorite from these three; they’re all so great that there’s not one that stands above the others.